All hell is breaking loose for PayTM Mall! Last month, a cybersecurity startup Cyble reported that the databases of PayTM’s e-commerce arm suffered a breach from a hacker group known as John Wick.
After the news made it to various media outlets, PayTM Mall quickly denied any such data breach. However Cyble, to assert they are right, went on claiming the hacker group did, in fact, gain access to their database.
Shortly after, in the last week, the same hacker group hacked the twitter account of Narendra Modi’s personal website and posted a series of tweets seeking donation in bitcoins. In the same tweet, the group also revealed that they didn’t hack into the databases of PayTM Mall.
Thus, seeing how the news of the alleged breach is spreading like wildfire and getting a confirmation from the horse’s mouth, now the Indian payments giant’s e-commerce arm has now resorted to sending a legal notice to Cyble.
The company’s ‘seize and desist’ notice is threatening the US-based cybersecurity firm to initiate defamation proceedings wherein the latter has only seven days to publicly clarify all the details related to the breach.
The document was issued on September 4 and reads that a ‘lack of compliance will result in criminal and civil suits.’
It also mentions how PayTM Mall perceives the report as nothing but misinformation which Cyble is supposedly using to feed ‘counterfactual and fallacious information’ to the innocent public who are prone to quickly believing false claims without researching further.
Cyble has stated that they are currently reviewing the legal notice and will reply suitably by placing all relevant facts about the database breach on record.
Thus, it is well understood that Cyble is still standing its ground and is challenging Paytm Mall’s accusation of not conducting due diligence when it comes to verifying facts.
PayTM Mall’s Legal Notice: Brand Image At Stake?
While the move by Paytm Mall could be seen as an effort to safeguard its brand value and refrain from potential damages, a series of recent developments in Paytm portray a completely different picture.
For PayTM Mall, the pressure just seems to keep building up even further as days go by. The company has already been in hot water for a long time. Therefore, them trying to sue Cyble can very well be called a sign of desperation or anxiousness.
The sudden surge in anti-Chinese sentiments among the majority of Indian citizens witnessed PayTM’s brand image being hampered.
The Indian Payments’ Unicorn having Chinese investors such as Alibaba Group wasn’t overlooked and thus many moved to ask whether they should be banned as well.
While Paytm’s brand image is recovering from that brunt, if Cyble report is able to convince the majority in India that PayTM Mall’s security measures are not up to the mark then it will definitely raise some serious questions about their integrity.
Besides that, it should also be noted that the reigns of PayTM’s e-commerce arm haven’t exactly been under the supervision of a consistent leader.
In March 2020, Paytm Mall’s executive director Rudra Dalmia resigned after serving in that position for less than a year after he took over.
Sources who were familiar with the development said that Dalmia was brought in June 2019 so that he could help revive Paytm Mall’s business by changing strategies but unfortunately he decided to quit.
This outlines the fact that Paytm Mall has had a considerable amount of trouble when it comes to finding a leader with a long term commitment.
Currently, Abhishek Ranjan who has been scaling PayTM’s travel business is helming the position of COO in PayTM Mall since June.
How Cyble is going to respond is currently anybody’s guess. It would be interesting to see how the whole situation ends and who is going to have the last laugh.
What do you think; Did Cyble jump the gun or it’s just an anxious move made by already troubled Paytm Mall ? Do let us know your views in the comment section below.